Originally Posted by dznf0g
...Can anyone tell me if the tanks are fully supported by the galvanized pans? Or are they fastened to the frame and the pan just contains the insulation. I'd hate to have a surprise when loosening the pan bolts.
they are almost entirely supported by the galvanized pans...
don't start to loosen pan bolts with anything but EMPTY tanks.
they can be supported with jack stands and timber,
but getting the pan off completely is a 2-3 person dance,
and best done with the stream UP on jack stands to provide more work space.
basically the tanks, outer plumbing, drains, insulation and belly pan are assembled...
with the frame INVERTED, then the hole mess is flipped over 4 finishing/fitting.
so working from below after the fact is problematic, but not impossible.
the notion of adding tank heaters is like trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist...
with a solution that doesn't really address the areas at risk.
the forced air furnace only provides warm air to one tank proximally.
as a result of 'leaking' this air may circulate (escape) incidentally near the other tanks.
simply by 'enclosing' the tanks there is adequate heat in a WARM stream to minimize tank freezing.
a FULL fresh tank has adequate thermal mass to resist freezing, while a near empty tank is at risk.
improving the insulation and external ENCLOSURE for the tanks would be useful.
heating elements available today will quickly drain the batteries,
without providing ANY warmth to the pipes/plumbing that are at risk in frigid temps.
most of the plumbing is inside the stream, so maintain a cabin temp above freezing and the system is mostly protected.
trying to use 12v
tanks elements AND the furnace fan together would simply overtax the dc system.
it's also useful to leave the water heater ON or at least turn it ON every 2-3 hours.
having stored the stream at ZERO fully prep'd for travel (with water) and having camped/towed in wind chills of 20-40 below zero...
the main objective is to keep the interior warm and let that heat diffuse into the structural parts.
insulating the ceiling vents/skylights and sealing the ENTRY door reduce heat loss.
adding bubble foil (inside) to the windows and vista views simply leads to excessive ICING inside.
the at risk plumbing bits are all tiny appendages that are externally exposed and beyond heating with pads OR the furnace.
the shower trap (in some models), and the low water line drain valves and fresh tank drain valve.
the analogy is that fingers, noses and toes are the primary areas 4 frostbite.
so consider covering the drain valves with bubble foil and aluminum tape and temporarily covering other outside bits.